N. Ireland Politics

Belfast city centre apartments challenge fails

Property buyers have failed in their first legal attempts to get out of deals for apartments in a new Belfast city centre development.

A married couple and a private firm each sought early High Court rulings over delays to the completion dates.

They paid deposits for apartments costing £245,000 and £216,000 in the James Clow, Granary Building complex at Princes Dock Street.

The cases will now proceed to a full High Court hearing at a later stage.

Legal proceedings were launched after the buyers were told of an anticipated six months slippage to the completion date scheduled for May 31 2009.

The developer defending the action, Sarcon No.177 Ltd, claimed its contractor encountered a number of difficulties, including the foundations for two adjoining former licensed premises and weather conditions.

The judge hearing both cases had to adjudicate on a question of whether time was of the essence to the contractual completion date.

Dealing with the plaintiff Clear Homes, Mr Justice Deeny held that was not the situation.

His ruling meant the Belfast-based firm cannot at this stage get out of its apartment deal.

The judge delivered a similar verdict in the case brought by the married couple.